Getting them on-board and keeping them on-board
This isn’t an article on man-over-board drills or how to select a fishing rod. It’s about something far more important – how to introduce new boaties, whether they be family or friends, into the rewarding world of boating. It’s not as simple as it seems given the number of boaties who leave a spouse/partner at home – often after a less than pleasant introduction to boating.
As the leading provider of recreational boating courses, Coastguard Boating Education is well known for its suite of courses for new or experienced skippers. From the popular Day Skipper course through to the iconic Boatmaster, plus specialist courses such as RADAR and Sea Survival, there’s plenty of choice for skippers to continue learning. But what’s been missing in the New Zealand market until now has been a course aimed at those completely new to boating who aren’t interested in becoming a skipper. To meet this need Boating Education has recently developed a course, aptly called Beginning Boating, for people who are ’dipping their toes’ in the water, so to speak.
Focusing on the basics.
This online, mobile device-friendly course is for people who don’t want to be a skipper but do want to know more before going out with friends/family. The course covers the basics of what to take when boating, what to do if you get seasick, the Boating Safety Code, selecting the right lifejacket and the importance of planning a trip. The basics of safe speed are also covered as are some of the most common boating terms, enabling better communication and understanding between everyone on board. The aim is to help newcomers to boating understand what’s going on, get to grips with boating terminology and feel more at ease on the water.
“New Zealanders love playing around on boats, but that doesn’t mean it’s in everyone’s DNA,” says Mike Brown, General Manager of Coastguard Boating Education. “We’ve launched this course to cater for those who are new to boating, perhaps scared to ask questions, and just want to understand more about it.
“We want people to enjoy boating, rather than being anxious. This course delivers on that and equips those new to boating with basic knowledge and the skills to know what to do if they or someone else on the boat unexpectedly ends up in the water.”
Boating should be fun.
Many readers will have observed, or perhaps been in a situation, where somewhat reluctant friends or family members were ‘dragged’ out on the boat and the day was less successful than it could have been because so much was new and unfamiliar. This course is intended to reduce levels of anxiety and to encourage new boaties to feel more informed. This course uses images, text and short videos to demonstrate key points. Users get to answer a set of questions (multi-choice, tap and drag) after each section. If you don’t get the correct answer straight away we will guide you – the key is that at the end of this simple course you will be more confident and knowledgeable. Plus there’s the bonus of being awarded a course completion certificate.
Beginning Boating is an online course available on smartphone, tablet and desktop ensuring participants can learn at their own pace, time and at a location that works for them rather than having to come into a classroom environment. You can complete as little or as much as you wish each time you log in. The course includes a host of additional resources and handy tips that might be handy out on the water – these are available anytime you log in when your phone has cellular coverage.
Making boating more accessible.
“At the very core of Beginning Boating is a philosophy to make boating more accessible to everyone, that’s why we’ve kept it at the low price of $35”
“We’ve been delighted by the feedback we’ve received from people who have done the course. It seems that some people are using it as a subtle way of dropping a hint to their partner that boating might actually be their cup of tea” says Mike.
“The idea is that an informed crew member will be more relaxed, have a better day out, be able to provide assistance to the skipper in the event of an incident and perhaps even be motivated to take their boating education journey further.”
Beginning Boating provides a great entry point into the fantastic world of relaxation, exploration and adventure – the key is to introduce new boaties in a way that is appealing rather than off-putting. Beginning Boating is one way to ensure that for the new boatie, the adventure of boating is by choice rather than their first experience. For less than the price of Sunday brunch, Beginning Boating is a great investment in helping friends and family feel more confident out on the water.